Distributed optimization for real-time railway traffic management

Xiaojie Luan, Bart De Schutter, Ton van den Boom, Francesco Corman, Gabriel Lodewijks

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
41 Downloads (Pure)


We introduce a distributed optimization method for improving the computational efficiency of real-time traffic management approaches for large-scale railway networks. We first decompose the whole network into a pre-defined number of regions by using an integer linear optimization approach. For each resulting region, a mixed-integer linear programming approach is used to address the traffic management problem, with micro details of the network and incorporated with the train control problem. For handling the interactions among regions, an alternating direction method of multipliers (ADMM) algorithm based solution approach is developed to solve the subproblem of each region through coordination with the other regions in an iterative manner. A priority rule based solution approach is proposed to generate feasible suboptimal solutions, in case of lack of convergence. Numerical experiments are conducted based on the Dutch railway network to show the performance of the proposed solution approaches, in terms of effectiveness and efficiency. We also show the trade-off between solution quality and computational efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-111
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event15th IFAC Symposium on Control in Transportation Systems - Savona, Italy
Duration: 6 Jun 20188 Jun 2018
Conference number: 15


  • Alternating direction method of multipliers (ADMM) algorithm
  • clustering
  • Decomposition
  • Distributed optimization
  • Mixed-integer linear programming (MILP)
  • Real-time railway traffic management


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